The key ingredient in your recipe for success is customer relationships.
As business owners, running our businesses can be so overwhelming and time-consuming that we neglect or overlook the key ingredient for a recipe to success: our customer relationships.
Above all else, our customers matter the most. They are the lifeblood of our businesses – representing the key to business survival and the opportunity to grow our companies and impact our communities.
Therefore, it goes without saying that our customer relationships mean everything.
Building strong customer relationships doesn’t happen overnight – they take a lot of time, effort and strategy.
In our 15-year journey at SBS Accounting & Advisors, I am so thankful for the relationships I have built with so many of you – our customers – and the outpouring of support and trust you have shown us along the way.
While forming strong customer relationships is an ongoing process, I want to share with you some of the key ingredients that our SBS team strives for every day to connect, and grow, with you – hopefully helping you carve out stronger relationships with your customers as well.
Exceptional Customer Service
You can have a great product or offering, but without the proper customer service, it means very little.
More than that, it’s exceptional customer service that can set you apart, help you reach your biggest goals and dreams, and, most importantly, give you a feeling of fulfillment and joy that your customers are happy and thriving.
For some tips on how to boost your customer service, check out our recent blog.
An Uplifting and Transcendent Customer Experience
A customer’s experience with you and your business will be what ultimately drives and dictates your relationship. This means connecting with them on a deeper level and making their experience with you memorable.
Truly get to know each of your customers/prospects. Get to know their wants, needs, struggles and triumphs – in business and in life. Be authentic, genuine, honest and transparent. Deliver on what you say, and always strive to do more and do better. Celebrate the wins, use the misses as ways to learn and grow and as inspiration to improve, and always be present and deliver a prompt reply to their questions and a powerful solution to their issues.
This lays out a terrific foundation for the customer experience, but now it’s time to “Wow” them. This can be as simple as thanking them for their business and showing how much you value them with your words.
It can also be bigger.
Consider a random act of kindness, such as doing something special for their children or their pet, or their father on Father’s Day. Perhaps, create an out-of-the-box idea or solution for their business that they never saw coming.
When we truly show how much we care – and do things that are too big to ignore – we create memorable experiences that keep us top of mind with our clients and take our relationships to the next level.
Once you’ve delivered exceptional customer service and an uplifting and transcendent customer experience, you are set up for exchanging referrals – all you have to do is ask.
I find that too often, business owners are reluctant to ask for referrals or neglect to do so. That is a BIG missed opportunity. While referrals can sometimes be a roller coaster, they should come very easy when your clients love their experience and the service you’ve brought them.
These kinds of customers are the ones who are most loyal and most willing to refer business your way – and by all means, refer business back, too!
(As a matter of fact, we love referrals! Click here if you have a friend or colleague who needs bookkeeping services.)
While doing business with your clients, there are ways to ask for referrals without being too salesy. As soon as you provide a customer solution or finish a key assignment or project, engage them with a review of their experience.
This is a good time to get a testimonial or engage them in an exchanging of a referral. Building this into your finishing strategy can be an organic part of the process – and a natural time for them to feel compelled to explain their experience and bring you more business.
For some advice on ways to land referrals, check out one of our blogs here.
Making the Customer Feel Special – Every Time
It’s important to remember that every client is different and there’s no cookie cutter approach to customer experiences or relationships.
Your customers crave personalized attention, honest and caring people, powerful solutions to take them to the next level, and memorable moments that touch their hearts.
I hope that our tips in this article resonate with you in some way, and help you carve out stronger relationships with your customers. At the same time, we’d love to hear about your own journey and what has worked for you with your customers.
So, if you have any questions, want to explore these strategies or want to share your own experiences, don’t hesitate to contact us today.
We’d love to hear from you and work together to grow and prosper!